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What’s New in Panopto 5.3?

Today, we’re excited to announce the latest release of our video platform. Panopto 5.3 continues our focus on interactive video with the launch of a brand new, easy-to-use quizzing tool. Also included in the release are updates to our cloud video editor, inside-video search technology, live streaming, and captioning.

In This Post:


Interactive Video Quizzing

In Panopto 5.3, trainers and teachers have a new resource for testing comprehension and reinforcing key concepts. The Panopto quiz maker is a tool that enables instructors to easily create tests and embed them directly within their videos.

Panopto's newest update incorporates video quizzing into the platform Taking an interactive video quiz in Panopto

The value of quizzing in online study is hard to overstate. It’s been the subject of a growing body of research over the last decade.

In 2008, faculty at Georgia Southern University found a correlation between online quizzing and increased student engagement in class. The study also linked the use of quizzing with a higher likelihood that students would read their assigned materials.

That same year, researchers at Purdue University found that testing immediately after study promotes the learning of new material and the recall of that material in subsequent tests. Further, the study found that repeated testing of a concept resulted in significantly higher long-term recall of the material.

And in 2012, a Harvard University study concluded that online quizzing reduces student distraction during online learning sessions, improves the retention of course material, and reduces student test anxiety. Notably, this research found that frequent tests during online lectures could reduce student mind-wandering in online courses by more than 50 percent.

For several years, Panopto has supported online quizzing through the use of third-party tools, including Articulate and Adobe Captivate. Now, with the Panopto quiz maker, instructors can easily create assessments and see class results without ever leaving their video content management system.

The quiz maker can be accessed directly from within the Panopto video editor. A new Quizzing tab provides easy access to all tests within a given video. You can add new quizzes, make changes to existing quizzes, or delete quizzes from this tab.

Panopto now allows for multiple quizzes to be embedded into a video The new Quizzing tab in the video editor

Quizzes can be added to any video in your video library. This includes new recordings created with Panopto as well as pre-recorded videos uploaded to Panopto from your desktop, laptop or mobile device.

You can place quizzes at any point in the video, and you can add as many quizzes as you’d like to each video.

Quizzes can contain multiple questions. Currently, Panopto supports three different question types: multiple choice, multi-select (in which multiple options can be specified as the answer to a question), and true/false. We plan to support more question types in a future release.

Panopto's new quiz creator allows for multiple choice and written answers Creating a multiple choice question in the Panopto quiz maker

Once you’ve created the quiz questions, you can reorder them as you see fit, and you can specify a number of options. These include:

  • Allowing learners to retake the quiz
  • Showing learners their grade at the end of the quiz
  • Allowing learners to review correct answers and explanations
  • Preventing learners from watching the rest of the video until they take the quiz
Set quiz permissions in Panopto's newest video platform update


When learners watch the video in Panopto’s interactive player, the quiz(zes) will automatically launch at the time(s) you specified. And, as the instructor, you can easily check quiz results for the entire class or individual learners.

Panopto now allows for feedback and results to be shown to quiz takers Viewing quiz results

The real beauty of the quiz maker is in its ease of use. Even if you’re not an instructional designer and you’ve never used e-learning authoring tools like Articulate or Adobe Captivate, you’ll be able to pick up the Panopto quiz maker in a matter of minutes. And because the tool is written entirely in HTML5, you can create and take quizzes in any modern web browser without the need for add-ons like Flash or Silverlight.

Video Editing Enhancements

Last year, we launched a new cloud-based video editor that simplified the process of making basic changes to new and existing videos.

Like the Panopto quiz maker, the editor was written in HTML5. This eliminated many of the traditional challenges of editing videos, including the need to manage multi-gigabyte local files, the need to manually transcode videos into a range of formats, and the need to use a high-end Macbook or Windows PC. Instead, users could simply launch a web browser from any desktop or laptop, and in a matter of minutes, make a few cuts, update video metadata, move clips around on a timeline, and automatically reprocess the video for playback on any device.

In today’s release, we’re expanding the capabilities of the video editor with custom preview images and support for working with slide decks.

Preview images (also known as “thumbnails”) are the first thing most people see when they discover your video, either by browsing your organization’s video portal, locating course videos within your LMS, or searching for specific video content. These images are an important part of the user experience, because as the name implies, they give people a preview of the content they’re about to watch.

Thumbnails are now customizable within Panopto's video editor Setting the custom preview image for a video

With custom preview images, you can set your video’s thumbnail to any image you’d like. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Select a snapshot from any point in your video. If your video contains multiple camera angles (or “video feeds”), you can specify which camera you’d like to use for the preview image.
  2. Upload an image from your hard drive. Panopto supports all major image formats, including PNG, JPG, GIF, and more.

Preview images also take up a substantial percentage of visual real estate in your video portal. Ensuring that the images are both accurate and engaging can result in a more polished experience for your users.

Also new in the editor is the ability to upload and work with slide decks. This is a useful feature for synchronizing a “talking head” video with its accompanying PowerPoint presentation. It results in a more professional-looking recording that gives your viewers a higher-fidelity reproduction of the in-class experience. In fact, research from Ball State University found that a combination of instructor video along with the associated presentation content resulted in higher student engagement.

A new Slides tab in the editor enables you to upload one or more existing slide decks into a video. Once the deck(s) have been processed, you can add individual slides to any point in the video. The timing of the slides can then be adjusted to ensure that they’re in perfect sync with the video.

Add a presentation in the video editor with Panopto Uploading a new slide deck to the video editor

For each slide added to the video, Panopto will automatically create a table of contents entry based on the slide title, and a preview image of the slide. In combination, these help viewers navigate your video presentation during playback.

Panopto's online video editor creates a table of contents and adds thumbnails to videos Adding individual slides to a video

In addition, Panopto automatically indexes the content of your slides for search. As part of Panopto’s unique Smart Search technology, this enables viewers to find and fast-forward to any word on any slide in your presentation.

Smarter Smart Search

Speaking of Smart Search, we’ve expanded its capabilities in today’s release as well.

First, automatic speech recognition now works for German and Spanish-language videos. As a result, you can search inside these videos for any word spoken, and then fast forward to the precise moment in the video where the term was mentioned.

Panopto's updated search function crawls video metadata to navigate you to relevant content Search results for a Spanish-language video

Second, you can now access Panopto’s automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology for any recording and correct the machine-generated captions in the video editor. This helps businesses and universities achieve their goals for accessible video by providing a starting point for ADA-compliant captions. Although the quality of machine-generated captions depends on the audio quality of the recording, in our testing, we were able to achieve greater than 70% accuracy in the ASR output.

Video captioning is now easy to access and automatically generated Machine-generated captions imported into the video editor

Additional Updates

In every release of Panopto, we make additional improvements across the platform. In today’s update, two of these improvements are worth calling out:

  1. Webcasting to more mobile devices: Panopto now supports live streaming to Android devices. Building on our existing support for iOS live streaming, Panopto can now reach over 95% of the world’s mobile devices with live video.
  2. More flexible video captioning: You can now customize the color, position, and size of video captions during playback. This is a useful feature for ensuring the readability of captions on videos with different color backgrounds.


Try Panopto Today

If you’re interested to find out more about what’s new in Panopto 5.3 or about how our video platform can help your organization manage video more efficiently, contact our team for a demo today.